Sanibel City Councilman Jason Maughan built up his war chest and his endorsement list heading into qualification week. But Adam Botana, his Republican primary opponent in House District 76, still holds a cash advantage.
Maughan reported another $11,250 in donations to his legislative campaign. That includes $1,000 checks from local businesses Captiva Island Racing, Kingfisher Real Estate and Miville & Mossberg. Realtor Laura DeBruce and retiree Cynthia Brown also chipped in maximum donations.
Moreover, Maughan nailed down endorsements, including one this week from State Attorney Amira Fox.
“I have known Jason for many years and know him to be a man of integrity who will stand up to do what’s right for Southwest Florida,” Fox said.
“Jason is a proud conservative and successful business owner. He has also been a good friend and steadfast supporter of law enforcement who will ensure we have the resources necessary to protect our community. In the Republican primary for House District 76, Vote Jason Maughan.”
It’s certainly a shift in position for the candidate who just four years ago was in a deeply negative Republican primary against incumbent Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto.
On the other hand, he still trails first time candidate Adam Botana. The Bonita Springs businessman pulled in just $2,300 in May. That includes $1,000 from investment consultant Aimee Stone.
Botana’s total contributions come in at $156,388, compared to Maughan’s $146,455.
Maughan has also put in a $10,000 candidate loan, and Botana began his raise by putting in $50,000 of his own money. Both candidates have moved into six-figure fundraising in the race to fill an open seat now held by outgoing Rep. Ray Rodrigues.
Pull out expenses and Botana holds $125,201 in cash on hand. By comparison, Maughan has $105,790 available.
Both candidates have qualified for the Republican ballot. Meanwhile, Democrat Anselm Weber, who filed in May, reported no fundraising in his first month.